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“A wonderfully vivid portrait of the man behind Sherlock Holmes . . . Like all the best historical true crime books, it’s about so much more than crime.”—Tana French, author of In the Woods A sensational Edwardian murder. A scandalous wrongful conviction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the rescue—a true story. After a wealthy woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow home in 1908, the police found a convenient suspect in Oscar Slater, an immigrant Jewish cardsharp. Though he was known to be innocent, Slater was tried, convicted, and consigned to life at hard labor. Outraged by this injustice, Arthur Conan Doyle, already world renowned as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, used the methods of his most famous character to reinvestigate the case, ultimately winning Slater’s freedom. With “an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research” (The Wall Street Journal), Margalit Fox immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection and illuminates a watershed moment in its history, when reflexive prejudice began to be replaced by reason and the scientific method. Praise for Conan Doyle for the Defense “Artful and compelling . . . [Fox’s] narrative momentum never flags. . . . Conan Doyle for the Defense will captivate almost any reader while being pure catnip for the devotee of true-crime writing.”—The Washington Post “Developed with brio . . . [Fox] is excellent in linking the 19th-century creation of policing and detection with the development of both detective fiction and the science of forensics—ballistics, fingerprints, toxicology and serology—as well as the quasi science of ‘criminal anthropology.’”—The New York Times Book Review “[Fox] has an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research.”—The Wall Street Journal “Gripping . . . The book works on two levels, much like a good Holmes case. First, it is a fluid story of a crime. . . . Second, and more pertinently, it is a deeper story of how prejudice against a class of people, the covering up of sloppy police work and a poisonous political atmosphere can doom an innocent. We should all heed Holmes’s salutary lesson: rationally follow the facts to find the truth.”—Time
A.E.W. Mason (Alfred Edward Woodley Mason, 1865-1948). is best known as the author of the adventure classic, The Four Feathers. In Witness for the Defence, he turns his considerable talents to crime, creating a mystery classic.
This fascinating book is based on a remarkable discovery: Sherlock Holmes's methods of deduction were actually those of his creator and used in order to solve real crimes; for Scotland Yard Holmes really did exist in the form of Conan Doyle. Author Peter Costello draws on new research to follow the tracks Conan Doyle left as he entered the real word of Sherlock Holmes; his fictional outpourings were the direct result of their author's hidden career as an amateur detective and criminologist
Provides a detailed account of what became one of the great miscarriages of justice of the 20th century, the arrest, trial and conviction of George Edalji - a South Staffordshire solicitor sentenced to 7 years penal servitude for maiming a horse in 1903. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became an interested party after hearing about the case and his investigations were carried out in the manner of his great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
In 1909, Oscar Slater, a German Jew, was convicted and sentenced to death for the brutal murder of Marion Gilchrist, an elderly Glasweigan spinster. His trial is now known to have been one of the most scandalous miscarriages of justice in the annals of legal history. This book is a masterful and highly readable unravelling of this infamous case. Tommy Toughill includes material which has only recently come to light, including the correspondence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who waged a long campaign to get Slater released) and the once and future Prime Minister, Ramsey Macdonald, who stated 'the Scottish legal authorities and the police strove for Slater's conviction by influencing witnesses and with-holding evidence.' Oscar Slater was finally released from prison in 1927 after years of intense public pressure, led by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and William Roughead, the great criminologist. In the author's quest to clear Oscar Slater's name, and to lay bare the deep corruption both within the police force and at the highest levels of the judiciary, the real murderer is identified for the first time. Toughill also reveals how Slater came to be wrongly convicted. Slater was the victim not merely of a miscarriage of justice, but of a conspiracy between senoir law officers intent on framing him in order to protect the real men involved. Toughill gives place of honour to the policeman John Trench who in 1914 made public his misgivings about the Slater case. His honesty was 'rewarded' with dismissal from the force. Trench's revelations came from material not made available to the defence or consequently the jury. The fact that it has taken nearly 100 years after Slater's conviction to produce evidence that could and should have been used during the original trial is shocking enough. How the legal establishment knowingly witheld this evidence will monly serve to fuel further the doubts many continue to have about our judicial system. The mistakes in the system of justice illustrated in the Oscar Slater case are as relevant today, perhaps even more so, as when they happened nearly one hundred years ago.
Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster--but at a cost: in Luzhin' s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.

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